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You’ve passed by it, spent a night there or maybe you enjoyed a lunch or a spa treatment, but do you know the history of the Saint James Albany hotel before it opened its doors to the world’s travellers? Diving into the great history of this building will make you admire it even more...
Formerly Hôtel de Foix, an extravagant mansion with two contemporary facades of pure Louis XV style which are listed as Monuments Historiques.
It was later acquired by Duke Adrien-Maurice de Noailles, Marshal of France in 1734, who then became Foreign Minister and Peer of France and made his home a veritable museum. Today you can admire the mouldings and gilding that adorn the walls.
Imagine the receptions that the Duke of Noailles hosted, especially the one for his granddaughter wedding, Adrienne De Noailles. Indeed, it was in this very 17th century mansion that the Marquis de Lafayette married Marie Françoise de Noailles on 11 April 1774. It has been a place of celebration for over 250 years.
From the entrance of the hotel, under the archways of Rue de Rivoli, you are propelled into a classic style. You will even walk on the same ground as Queen Marie Antoinette did when she met General Lafayette on his return from America on February 15th, 1779. In the courtyard, an plaque commemorates this event.
In 1792, the Hôtel de Noailles was occupied by various revolutionary committees and became public property. The hotel was subsequently returned to the Noailles family who sold it to Lord Francis Henry Egerton, the 8th and last Earl of Bridgewater, a wealthy eccentric who had the hotel expropriated at the opening of the Rue de Rivoli.
Passed down from person to person, it is said that the building was transformed into a hotel in 1853. This central district, the 1st arrondissement, was greatly admired by the British who came for the 1855 Exposition Universelle. This is the reason why the hotel adopted the name “Hôtel Saint James.”
Since then, the hotel has changed hands many times, becoming, almost a century later on November 14th, 1956, the Saint James & Albany hotel, returned to French heritage status and fully restored in 1979.
Paris in all its splendour is at your feet from the Saint James & Albany hotel. Take advantage of our best offers for staying in this romantic and historic setting.